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ArcelorMittal USA kicks off a third round of sheet price increases

Houston — ArcelorMittal USA informed its customers on Monday morning it would be raising flat-rolled steel prices, marking the third round of increases since the end of June.

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The steelmaker said it would be charging new minimum base prices of $630/st for hot-rolled coil and $800/st for cold-rolled and coated coil products. The price increase was effective immediately.

US sheet makers have announced $80/st of price increases for flat-rolled products in two moves since the end of June. The new ArcelorMittal numbers are up $30-$70/st from existing HRC offers in the market.

The two rounds of increases have been effective in raising spot prices but mills have fallen short of collecting the full amount. The daily Platts TSI US HRC assessment was up by $54.50/st to $556.75/st on Friday since hitting a low in early July.

Still, pricing momentum has appeared positive for domestic mills after the start of the price hike efforts. Mills have reported improved order entry and extending lead times. The average mill lead time for HRC was at 5.1 weeks last week, up from a low of under three weeks at the end of June, according to S&P Global Platts data.

Many market participants expected additional increases but thought mills may wait until August order books closed or scrap prices settled higher. It was unclear if other domestic mills would announce a third round of increases as well.

-- Michael Fitzgerald, michael.fitzgerald@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Tom Balcerek, newsdesk@spglobal.com